I walked a mile or so around our city neighborhood at noon today. The sun was gently warm in a powder-blue sky and a mild breeze blew from the south. Melting snow plunked and gurgled in metal downspouts, and chunks of ice on roof shingles loosened and crashed to the ground. Plants lost their winter snow caps. Squirrels snoozed on tree branches in the sun. Blue jays, black-capped chickadees and a white-breasted nuthatch chattered in the trees. Walkers smiled, called greetings and shed hats and mittens in the warmth.
Six weeks ago, a high of 47 degrees (F) would have felt very chilly and worthy of complaint. Today, it feels balmy — a glorious day to be outside. And though the next Arctic air mass will arrive tonight with subzero temperatures and dangerous wind chills, I’ll cherish this tiny foretaste of spring while I wait for the January thaw.